Building Relationships With Kids

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Building Relationships with Kids | As our children grow older, building relationships with kids may be the last thing on your list. Is this a good thing for your family or for your child's future family? In this podcast, Felice Gerwitz delves into building blocks important for any good relationship. #homeschoolpodcast #podcast #homeschool #relationships #parentchild #buildingfamilybonds #bondingwithchildren Building Relationships With Kids – Episode 487

As our children grow older, building relationships with kids may be the last thing on your list. Is this a good thing for your family or for your child’s future family? In this podcast, Felice Gerwitz delves into building blocks important for any good relationship.

Visit MediaAngels.com for books geared toward building relationships with kids. You will find the ebook Secret Code Time to learn how to create an unbreakable bond between parent and child. Other books include One More Child and A Few Minutes with God and curricula designed for homeschooled families.

As parents, we have an idea of how we want our family to look and act, yet reaching this goal can be challenging. First, we factor in the parenting styles of a mom and a dad. We add our children’s different personalities and multiply this number by the number of children we have, which can equal broken relationships and strained marriages. This does not need to happen, and the simple first line of defense is a united front between mom and dad.

Long ago, I read a parenting book. One of the points in this book taught that when a child is at ease and reassured that his parents love each other and get along, they are easier to put to bed. The rationalization was that if a child is upset by constant bickering, a child is unsure, and getting up often reassured the child that all was okay. This might not work in every case, but the kids listened better when my husband and I spent time (just the two of us) on the couch for about five minutes after he arrived home from work. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Kids want to be reassured, and having parents that get along is part of that equation. In the next podcast, I address relationships with our spouses.

Relationships take two people, and they take people who care about each other. In a family, we take each other for granted in a way that we would not act with strangers. It may be because we see each other daily, and if you homeschool, that means 24/7 am I right? The saying familiarity breeds contempt should not be taken literally!

We have a chance each and every day to have a “do-over,” a chance to build a lasting relationship with our children, and an unbreakable bond, and it begins with caring. How do we do this?

Well, it begins with mom. I attended a parenting course and was told I had to get my act together before working on my children’s attitudes. This did not sit well with me. I paid money to be told to fix myself first. Well, the good news is this podcast is free, and while I will not be harsh, I will say that I found when I lost my temper or was upset, the entire family was upset as well.

A mom is a special force in a home, and we often put ourselves last, rightly so, as many of our children are little and need us. But we must remember to fill up, and there are quick ways to do this. Take time to pray first thing in the morning, even if it is something like, “Jesus, help me and be with me today.” Make sure you have some downtime after lunch, the kids can do a quiet activity, and you can use that time to do something fun, whatever that is! Stay off social media unless it picks you up instead of bringing you down! It is often a downer for me, so I stay off of it unless I have the time to refocus after I get off! Be sure you have a friend or a confidant (your spouse) to share your ups and downs with; that helps!

Building Relationships with Kids:

But building relationships with kids begins with taking the time at some point to listen without judgment or recrimination and allowing the children to understand that mom or dad is a safe place to come and a listening ear. We can’t always do this, especially in the midst of our daily lives, so it is important to spend time with each of our children at least once a week. This is doable. You can go someplace (park, fast food for a milkshake or something to drink, or even the backyard if the other children know their turn will come and can not interrupt). Use this time to do the following:

  1. Establish this is a time for mom and child – that is it. It is a special time. Explain that you are always there for them and want them to understand this is a safe time to talk without getting into trouble or a lecture. *There is time later to discuss the issue. I’ll explain that in a minute.
  2. This is a time to discuss something on the child’s mind, a concern, or just to chat. (What is the favorite thing you did this week?)
  3. Mom listens and encourages but tries to allow the child to talk. You can sit silently and enjoy the quiet if the child is not forthcoming.
  4. You can set up a special word that indicates that the child wants to talk to you about something important.
  5. Make this a routine, and keep this time as a child-parent date.

This is loosely based on the book I published by Sky McNeill and Paula Stevenson called Secret Code Time. I was taken by the author and her daughter and their relationship. I was having difficulty with one of my children, and he didn’t seem to want to tell me anything. I was concerned that as he grew older, he would not turn to me first with a problem or need but to others. This method allowed all my children to understand I was always there for them! I know that seems incredible because our children should understand we are there for them, but they see us as a disciplinary force at times over anything else.

Let me ask you when the last time your child came to you to snuggle or give you a hug was. If you have a large family, it becomes overwhelming if everyone does this at once, but at least sometimes, right? Maybe when they went off to bed, our routine was prayers and a blessing from mom and dad with a hug. Our children need to feel cared for and special. This is our time to pour our love into their lives, and sometimes we feel overwhelmed.

The idea is that we create a relationship with our children that they know is safe. Does this mean there is never any discipline involved? Let’s say our special time is filled with situations we want to correct or discipline immediately. What should you do? Explain to the child that this time is just for you to listen but that you will pray about what to do with the situation. If it is serious, you may need to correct this behavior. For example, you are visiting websites that are off-limits. One thing to get to is the root cause, how did this happen (unsupervised time online?), and place some safeguards in place.

You can also pray with your child and explain that you care about them and their well-being. A friend of mine shared her son had fallen into a bad habit online and told her he wished he had never seen the first picture because the lure was almost impossible to avoid. She prayed with her son and explained she was happy he came to her, and she immediately set about safeguards on her computer and wifi so that this situation could be avoided. My children took dual enrollment classes, and I had their phone’s password protected for internet access. My son had to call me to get my code so he could access a website for research in class, and when he got home, I put another code on his phone with a few fewer class restrictions. Keeping a computer in a common area also helps. The point here is that the mother did not get upset outwardly anyway, assuring her child she was proud that he came to her with this issue.

Truly that is the best we can ask for as parents that our kids come to us with problems or concerns. We don’t always need to be rash when we discipline. We can stop thinking and praying!

Depending on your child’s age, you begin small. Telling your child you are there for them, but also what you expect, goes a long way toward building a lasting relationship. Being available for them as well. When I was in the midst of homeschooling my children, I was with them from the moment they woke up until bedtime. At night I was drained. That was my time to relax in a hot tub, and my husband took over hanging out in their rooms and talking to the kids. This was their time to build relationships. It doesn’t need to be a long, drawn-out process.

Our children need to know we love them, care about them, and will always be there for them.

 

 

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